We compiled a list of 5 most common mistakes we see start-ups do when it comes to digital marketing.
What we notice is that generally start-ups forget to include digital strategy in their plans. They mostly focus on the product and the service, which is great. But if no one knows about your product, no one will be able to buy it. There are some start-ups who include digital advertising and PR efforts in their plan, but they don’t look at it as a long-term investment and consider it a plug & play strategy, meaning: I will put 5000 in today and get 10000 out tomorrow. Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way. Budgets and efforts need to be carefully planned in advance and with a long-term outlook based on in-depth research of their online industry.
Nuuk Tip: Define your start date, target markets, target audience segments and of course available budgets for digital marketing. AND do setup some sort of website analytics. We recommend Google Analytics – it’s free, powerful and can be integrated with almost any other tool you might use on your way (also Kickstarter and Indiegogo).
A lot of time when we have the first discussion with a potential client, we see a big gap in their digital marketing knowledge and their expectations. Majority thinks that you simply create ads, put them online and sales will start coming in and bring a good ROI. This is however far from the reality. There is much more to it like ad design – what image, what headline, what USP will work. Then there is the landing page experience, what happens once you get people interested and have them on your website. Also targeting – testing of different target audiences, testing different platforms and tools. This all takes time and resources to nail down the perfect combination which we can scale in the long-run. To sum it up – majority of people look at digital marketing as a short-term investment with direct returns, when it is actually a long-term investment with direct and indirect returns.
Nuuk Tip: Set aside at least 2 – 3 months of time and resources in order to find your sweet spot.
The most common mistake in any start-up is thinking that online tools are easy to grasp and that all can be learned in a few days and handled in-house. We have seen numerous cases where a company would simply open Facebook Ads and Google Ads accounts, create some random ads and test things on their own. After a week they would decide that they put more money in compared to their returns and they would just pause everything and make a decision that online ads don’t work for them. In truth, the tools are fairly straight-forward and can give an impression of being easy to use, but on the contrary they are very complex. The algorithms behind Google and Facebook for example take a lot of time, testing, trial and error in order to bring results. With all platforms, the setup, implementation and constant optimization are much trickier than they seem and require skill and experience to make the right call. They also require a lot of data analysis and knowledge of the key performance indicators in order to see the light. Which brings us to another mistake – measuring results.
In-House Digital: Make sure you are comfortable with using all available platforms and that you will know exactly what you are tracking as results. It is possible to master all the platforms, some faster than the others. Find case studies and best practices online and keep learning while doing.
Outsourced Digital: Make sure the partner you choose is certified (Google, Facebook, Hubspot, etc.) and that they are transparent. Transparent meaning they will tell you their fee, show what they are spending your money on and what results their different efforts are bringing. Also always ask about meeting frequency and sign a contract. – See more under point 5
4. Measuring results
First important thing to mention here is tracking and data collection in general. During our past experience we saw the trend of agencies and partners selling digital marketing as clicks and impressions, avoiding any relation to what happens after the click or after the impression. As Nuuk Digital we have also seen clients, who were crowdfunding on Kickstarter or Indiegogo and they didn’t even put their Google Analytics ID in the platform to measure traffic more precisely. The ones who did put it in, they usually just enter the same property as they use for their website, which again makes for confusing data in their analytics. We also noticed too many companies not using their tracking properly – meaning the setup would be incomplete or the settings wouldn’t be optimal for useful data collection. This is our main focus with every client – to stress the importance of analytics, help with proper tracking implementation and with understanding results and what their implications are. Additionally, due to the previously mentioned issues with planning, very few start-ups and crowdfunders actually set KPI’s – key performance indicators – before they dive into digital marketing. Setting what parameters one will track, how they will track them, how often and then actually following through on this is of huge importance and too often overlooked.
Nuuk Tip: Whatever analytics platform you use, play around with it and google areas you don’t understand. Once you get to know all the functionalities, it will become much easier to think of how to filter data and to use it for your own growth.
5. Partner/Agency Search
We work with a lot of clients who have previously had bad experience with their partner choice. It is difficult to evaluate, who will drive the best results. Let’s face it – there are a bunch of options globally, all with different pricing models and different approaches. Making the choice too fast or with too little research can result in wrong expectations and bad experience with online platforms. We would advise everyone to really make an informed decision when choosing a digital partner based on their business goals. And never believe when someone gives you exact numbers – if they promise you 5000 clicks for a certain price, this will definitely not be a results driven approach.
Nuuk Tip: Ask potential partners/agencies:
How would you tackle the challenges our startup faces?
What platforms would you use if you were our agency?
Where do your existing clients advertise (platforms and markets)? Important fact: a lot of agencies are focused on local clients meaning they usually only target 1-2 markets. If you are a global start-up targeting the most important tech markets around the world you need to find a partner that is comfortable with that.